Activities and adventures galore for kids of all ages

Plus, children 17 and under can visit for FREE! 

If you’re looking for a great day out for all the family, then look no further than the Southampton International Boat Show, packed full of activities and attractions for you and the kids to enjoy.

We’ve got boats galore, from tiny dinghies to towering superyachts, hundreds of exhibitor stands for you to investigate, an incredible line up of interactive activities where you can get your toes wet if you want to, fabulous food, live entertainment and so much more!

Here are just some of the fun things the whole family can enjoy at this year’s show…

Make a splash and give it a go – There are absolutely loads of opportunities for you to get in, on or under the water at the show. The ‘On the Water Zone’ is an action-packed area, offering a wonderful first step into the world of boating for you and your kids for FREE.

We’ve got boats galore, from tiny dinghies to towering superyachts, hundreds of exhibitor stands for you to investigate, an incredible line up of interactive activities where you can get your toes wet if you want to, fabulous food, live entertainment and so much more!

Experience the thrill of being out on the water with ‘Try-a-Boat’, in partnership with Flexisail. Hop on board loads of different boats, from powerboats to sailing yachts under the guidance of experienced instructors. Or why not try your hand at dinghy sailing, with Get Afloat, in partnership with Rockley Watersports. Beginners and experienced sailors alike can navigate the waves in top-tier dinghies, ensuring a thrilling adventure on the water.

All the kit is provided and qualified instructors are on hand to ensure everyone is safe and offer loads of help to get you underway.

You can even enjoy a tranquil voyage around the Solent on board the ‘Ocean Scene’, while over in the ‘Watersports Zone’, get your hair wet and take a dip in the Andark Dive tank, and give snorkelling and diving a go.  Explore beneath the surface with professional guidance and top-of-the-line equipment, it’s great fun!

Family fun at the Watersports Lake – One of the highlights of the Boat Show is the Watersports Lake, in partnership with Rockley Watersports. It’s not just any lake—it’s a bustling hub where kids and adults alike can splash into a variety of water-based activities.

Whether you’re looking to improve your paddling skills or try kayaking for the first time, Rockley’s professional team are there to support every stroke with the best equipment and safety measures. It’s the perfect place to introduce the little ones to the thrilling world of watersports in a safe and controlled environment.

Light the way with Light the South – As you enter the show, you’ll be greeted by an impressive line-up of lighthouses, setting the stage for an immersive maritime experience. ‘Light the South’, isn’t just about these beautiful lighthouse creations; it also features engaging Arts & Crafts areas located in both the Shipyard and at the Foredeck Stage.

Here, the kids can unleash their creativity by designing their own lighthouse models, solving fun maritime-themed word searches, and participating in other fun activities. It’s a perfect spot for young minds to learn, create, and play.

Sign up for the Treasure hunt – A absolute favourite of younger visitors, the treasure hunt this year follows the Light the South lighthouses around the show. Search for the hidden treasure and goodies along the way.

How do you do that? The show hosts a number of entertaining and educational workshops and interactive activities perfect for younger visitors and grown-ups too. Over in the Classic & Day Boat Zone you can find out how you can make a whole host of knotted items using just ropes from small boat fenders to lanyards, plus find out how boats are built in the live boating building demos, you can even give it a try!  You will also find a whole host of interactive activities on a number of exhibitors stands, from VR googles to amazing gadgets, you never know what you might get to try?

Shiver me timbers, is that a pirate ship? Don’t miss the impressive tall ship ‘Thalassa’ where you can step aboard and explore this majestic vessel, learn about its history, and even get a taste of life at sea. It’s a wonderful opportunity for young visitors to see what life was like on board this remarkable ship and embrace maritime culture. Plus, for a small additional cost, you can even enjoy an evening sail onboard this amazing craft. It’s an experience the whole family will enjoy.

Wow what a show! – Don’t miss the high-octane action of the On the Water Stage Show.  Featuring, jaw-dropping performances from national wingfoiling champion Hugo Dobrijevic (new for 2024), breathtaking ariel acrobatics of flyboarding star James Prestwood, and back flipping jet-ski champion Jack Moule. You’ll be amazed at the high-octane thrills and incredible stunts guaranteed to captivate visitors of all ages.

Explore the boats – Kids can have a fun time exploring the hundreds of different types of boats on display at the show. From small sailing dinghies to luxurious yachts, there’s a wide range of vessels to discover. They can climb aboard, check out the cabins, and imagine themselves sailing the seas.

NEW FOR 2024 – Meet Captain Ted Funnel – A special guest making waves this year is Captain Ted Funnel. The mascot of Red Funnel Ferries is a character beloved by many and sure to delight his young fans.  Look out for him at the show and grab a selfie.

NEW FOR 2024 – Play and learn with LEGO – On both Saturdays of the show, the SYUK area in Ocean Hall will transform into a LEGO lover’s paradise. Certified LEGO trainer, Stephen G Shaw will be there to guide children through the process of building their very own Lego boats. This hands-on activity not only promotes fine motor skills and creativity but also teaches kids about the basics of boat building and engineering in a fun, engaging way.

Enjoy a splash in the ball pit – For the little adventurers, the ball pit is loads of fun. Watch as your kids giggle and wiggle through colourful balls, making new friends and memories. It’s a safe and exciting play area where parents can relax while their kids are at play. Located in the Shipyard, while the kids enjoy themselves jumping around, the grownups can enjoy a drink and a bite to eat.

Enjoy a delicious pit-stop – No family outing is complete without some tasty treats. You’ll find a whole variety of scrumptious food and drink stalls catering to all different tastes. Our food vendors have thoughtfully included kids’ options in their menus, ensuring there are delicious and healthy choices for everyone. Whether you crave a quick snack or a full meal, a variety of flavours await to satisfy your taste buds. Check out the Shipyard, the Quarterdeck Bar & Restaurant, and the amazing street food vendors around the show.

Groove to Live Music – On to top it all off we’ll have live music and DJ sets providing that festival feel to a fantastic day out for all the family. Various bands, artists and DJs will perform throughout the show in the Shipyard, including legendary DJ Chris Moyles, the incredible Symphonic Ibiza, Beatles Dub Club, Mamma Mania and many more, you’re sure to find something to get everyone’s toes tapping.

Look out for the full music line up coming soon!

Set Sail for Fun!

The Boat Show is more than just boats; it’s a treasure trove of activities that promise to make your family outing memorable. From educational to purely fun, from relaxing to exhilarating, this show has all the ingredients for a perfect family weekend and what’s more, children aged seventeen and under can visit for FREE! (A maximum of two children can be admitted free of charge with each adult ticket holder).

The Boat Show is committed to making your visit as comfortable and convenient as possible. Baby changing facilities are available across the show in all the disabled toilets. Additionally, ample parking space nearby and easy accessibility mean less time worrying about logistics, and more time enjoying the show.

So, mark your calendars, and prepare to set sail on an adventure that’s set to delight, educate, and entertain.

Do remember to check the specific details and schedule of the Southampton International Boat Show closer to the event date to ensure you don’t miss any exciting activities.

What are you waiting for? Get your ticket today. We can’t wait to see you at the show!

For all the latest show information and to purchase your tickets visit https://www.southamptonboatshow.com/

The kids will sleep well after all that fun!